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Joan Rivers Officiates Her Second Same-Sex Marriage In New York

JoanRiversWedding

Joan Rivers, the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Gays" and all-around funny lady, was ordained by the Universal Life Church and may quickly become the go-to officiant for New York gay couples. After performing a ceremony atop the Empire State Building in 2013, Ms. Rivers was again asked to perform her duty last week.

HuffPost reports:

On Aug. 15, the 81-year-old comedian, author and icon married William "Jed" Ryan and Joseph Aiello at New York's Plaza Athenee, Out magazine is reporting.

As it turns out, it was the second time down the aisle for the couple. In June, Rivers agreed to marry Ryan and Aiello on the spot at a Barnes & Noble signing of her new book, Diary of a Mad Diva, in Manhattan. Although photos and footage of that ceremony were picked up by numerous media outlets, the couple didn't have a proper marriage license at the time, so Rivers vowed to arrange a second ceremony so the men could legally tie the knot.

Thanks for the love and support, Joan! Now, what celebrity officiant would you want presiding over your wedding? Sound off in the comments below.

Photo via Out Magazine.


Married Michigan Gay Couples Ask State to Recognize Their Marriages

MichiganThe state of Michigan is being asked to recognize hundreds of gay marriages that were performed in the state during a brief window in March when licenses were issued to same-sex couples following a ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. 

Shortly after the nuptials took place, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced that the state, unlike the federal government,  would not be recognizing the marriages. 

The AP reports:

"The state cannot mandatorily divorce you," University of Michigan law professor Julian Mortenson said during a 90-minute hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman struck down the state's gay marriage ban on March 21, and more than 300 same-sex couples in four counties got hitched the next day, Saturday, before an appeals court suspended the decision and blocked additional marriages.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati recently heard arguments about whether to overturn or affirm Friedman's decision. In the meantime, the American Civil Liberties Union is fighting to force the state to recognize the marriages that did happen for the purpose of benefits and other issues.

The lawyer argued that even if a higher court eventually reinstates Michigan's ban on gay marriages, the unions should still be considered valid.


Florida AG Pam Bondi Pledges to Continue Defending Gay Marriage Ban: 'I Am Just Getting Started'

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has responded to yesterday's ruling by a federal judge overturning her state's ban on same-sex marriage, the Sun-Sentinel reports:  

Bondi“We want finality. There are good people on both sides. We want finality. That’s what we need. The U.S. Supreme Court’s going to hear this. They are going to make this determination. And if you hear that I have criticized people personally, I have not. I never will. This is me doing my job as attorney general. And I will continue to do that and if anybody wants me to moderate my message or stand for less I have a message for them: I am just getting started.”

Later, in answering reporters’ questions, this is what she said about the Democratic candidates who would drop the defense of the ban:

“All I’m going to say is I put my hand on a Bible and I raised my right hand and swore to uphold the Constitution of the state of Florida. This was voted into our Florida’s Constitution by 62 percent of the voters not even six years ago....”

Earlier this month, Bondi, citing her desire to "preserve taxpayer and judicial resources" asked state courts to stop considering same-sex marriage cases until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the issue. 

Bondi is running for re-election this year.


Tenth Circuit Extends Stay in Ruling Striking Down Colorado's Gay Marriage Ban

Yesterday afternoon, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals extended a stay on a federal judge's ruling from last month that found Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.  

Equality on Trial reports:

Colorado[U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore]  had issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the ban in July. The court then halted proceedings in the case, pending issuance of the mandate in Kitchen v. Herbert, the challenge to Utah’s same-sex marriage ban in the Tenth Circuit. A request to halt the injunction was denied, but a temporary stay, until August 25, was granted so that the state could ask the appeals court for a stay pending appeal.

Without this new stay, marriages could have begun in Colorado on August 25.

The Utah case is in the Supreme Court, and the Justices are likely to have their first opportunity to grant review during their conference on October 10. The mandate in the Kitchen case wouldn’t issue until the Supreme Court denies review or rules on the merits.


Federal Judge Strikes Down Florida's Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge in Florida has struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, becoming the first federal judge to do so.

Four state judges have already issued rulings against Florida's gay marriage ban.

The AP reports:

FloridaU.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle in Tallahassee ruled that the ban added to Florida's constitution by voters in 2008 violates the 14th Amendment's guarantees of equal protection and due process. Hinkle issued a stay delaying the effect of his order, meaning no marriage licenses will be immediately issued for gay couples.

Hinkle, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, compared bans on gay marriage to the long-abandoned prohibitions on interracial marriage and predicted both would be viewed by history the same way.

"When observers look back 50 years from now, the arguments supporting Florida's ban on same-sex marriage, though just as sincerely held, will again seem an obvious pretext for discrimination," Hinkle wrote in a 33-page ruling. "To paraphrase a civil rights leader from the age when interracial marriage was struck down, the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice."

Equality on Trial adds that Judge Hinkle has issued a preliminary, statewide injuction preventing the state from enforcing the ban while the case moves forward. The decision is stayed pending Supreme Court action.

Read the ruling below:

Florida Preliminary Injunction via Equality Case Files


Brigham Young University Pulls Hallmark Same-Sex Wedding Cards

CardSame-sex wedding greeting cards have been removed from the Brigham Young University (BYU) bookstore in Provo, Utah, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

BYU is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

The Hallmark cards reading "Mr. and Mr." and "Mrs. and Mrs." were removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. According to BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins, Hallmark stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn’t want to sell the cards celebrating same-sex marriages.

Explaining why the cards were removed, Jenkins cited BYU’s honor code which states "homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

Although the university does not intend to end its contract with Hallmark, staff have asked the company to not leave similar cards in the bookshop in the future.

Last month we reported that John Dehlin, a Mormon advocate of LGBT rights, was facing excommunication from the church.


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